Following on from the title, the report continues: 'A beautiful Young Lady, of 16 years of age, who was seduced from her home in the County of Limerick, by a Gentleman, who afterwards bribed his servant, Stephen Sullivan, to murder her, for which they were both Executed; the whole account as confessed by Sullivan at the place of execution.' This sheet was printed in 1819 by John Muir of Glasgow.
This broadside tells of an elopement that went disastrously wrong. The elopement was between a wealthy and accomplished girl from the county of Limerick, and a 'gentleman' apparently from Dublin. Tragically, the girl ended up being murdered by the gentleman's servant, with both master and servant being executed for the terrible crime. With its emphasis on female accomplishments, gentlemanly behaviour and servants, the broadside reveals much about upper-class Irish society during the early nineteenth century. Certainly, the fact that the gentleman ordered his servant to kill the girl and then blamed his subordinate for committing the crime, suggests much about a lack of responsibility on the part of the 'gentleman'.
Reports recounting dark and salacious deeds were popular with the public, and, like today's sensationalist tabloids, sold in large numbers. Crimes could generate sequences of sheets covering descriptive accounts, court proceedings, last words, lamentations and executions as they occurred. As competition was fierce, immediacy was paramount, and these occasions provided an opportunity for printers and patterers to maximise sales.
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Date of publication:
1819 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(006)
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